Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Ben Mendelsohn in talks to join Steven Spielberg's 'Ready Player One'

Without a doubt in my mind, one of the biggest rising stars in Hollywood right now is Australian actor Ben Mendelsohn. The great character actor was a star for years in his home country, but he's finally breaking through in America. After a series of small parts in The Dark Knight Rises, Killing Them Softly and The Place Beyond the Pines, Mendelsohn is beginning to snag some much bigger roles. He starred as gambling addict Gerry in the terrific indie Mississippi Grind (my #16 film of 2015), and will soon appear in Gareth Edwards' Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, in what is rumored to be a villainous role. Almost all of the Hollywood studios are going after Mendelsohn right now and I think that we'll be seeing a lot more of the actor over the next few years. And last week, it was widely reported that an iconic director is courting Mendelsohn for a very important role in one of the most highly-anticipated blockbusters in recent years.

According to Variety, Mendelsohn is in talks to star as the villain in Steven Spielberg's Ready Player One, an adaptation of the smash hit Ernest Cline novel. Mendelsohn would be playing Nolan Sorrento, who is described as a "high-ranking official of Innovative Online Industries" a company that wants to exploit the virtual reality service at the center of the plot. Olivia Cooke is set to star as Art3mis, the female lead, and Spielberg is still testing actors for the male lead. Nothing was confirmed by Warner Bros. But if this does come to fruition, I will be absolutely ecstatic. Mendelsohn is one of my favorite actors working today, and even in films that I don't like (Slow West, Exodus), he manages to be one of the bright spots. I don't have much familiarity with the Ready Player One novel, but everything I've heard about this film so far suggests that we're in for something special. Cutting-edge technology, great cast, nostalgia-driven story and the possibility of Gene Wilder coming out of retirement- all of these things are driving my excitement for Ready Player One to new levels. This is undoubtedly one of my most anticipated movies for the next few years and I'm hoping for a new Spielberg classic. Ready Player One will hit theaters on December 15, 2017.



Image Credits: Nerdist

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